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White wine grape variety grown in Apulia

Sèmillon b.

Sèmillon b. is a grape variety with national and international distribution; it is also present in Apulia, where it is suitable for cultivation throughout the region. 

Origin and Historical Outline

The white grape variety Sèmillon b. is cultivated in Bordeaux (Gironde), especially in the Sauterne area, famous for its dry and sweet white wines, including Sauternes, along with other varieties such as Sauvignon and Muscadelle. It arrived in Italy in the nineteenth century, with an initial diffusion limited to some wine areas of the north. Then it was introduced in Apulia.


Blanc Sémillion, Chevrier, Colombar, Goulu Blanc, Malaga, Sémilion.  

Shoot tip: medium-expanded, downy, whitish with marked red-purplish hue along the margins.

Leaf: medium, trilobate and sometimes pentalobate. Open U or lyre-shaped petiole sinus. Medium deep, U or V-shaped upper and lower lateral sinuses; upper sinuses sometimes with slightly overlapping lobes.

Bunch: medium-small, cone-shaped, fairly dense, with a wing, the stalk has a woody base.

Berry: medium, spherical. Golden-yellow skin with pink hues, thick but not very compact, pruinose. Flesh with a special taste.



Time of bud burst: early-intermediate

Flowering time: early-intermediate

Veraison: intermediate

Ripening: intermediate-early

Vigour: good

Average bunch weight: 130 g (min 90 g – max 170 g)

Average berry weight: 2 g (min 1.8 g – max 2.3 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 2 3

Average rachis weight: 10 g

Fertility of buds: 2 – 1

Potential fertility: 1.8

Actual fertility: 1.4

Delivers its best results on light, permeable soils. Too rich and long pruning has to be avoided because of its tendency to high acrotony.


 Alcoholic content: 11 – 15 % by vol.

pH: 3.3 – 3.7

Total acidity: 4 – 6 g/l

The Sèmillon b. vine is used exclusively for vinification, mainly in blends with other varieties. It produces dry and sweet white wines.

In Apulia, its grapes produce a very fragrant, fairly alcoholic wine with low acidity and a special flavour; with ageing, it easily develops a taste like that of a sweet dessert wine.

In Apulia, more than 30 years ago, the Experimental Institute for Viticulture and the Experimental Institute for Oenology (today both CREA-VE), carried out an experiment in which, by vinifying over-ripe grapes produced in a vineyard in the countryside of Cerignola (FG), with a blend of 50% Semillon and 50% Sauvignon, a high grade natural sweet wine with exceptional qualitative characteristics was obtained. It is considered worthy of being extended to the production practice of the operators of this type of wine, with the blend tested or modified for further improvement.

The vine is present in the Treviso, Friuli and Parma areas.

In Apulia it is registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation in all the production areas of the region.

Antonacci Donato

The data sheet of the Sèmillon b., rrevised and updated, is extracted from: Antonacci Donato (2006). Viti di Puglia, Adda publisher. Its use is granted by the author citing the source.